The Grice Club


The Grice Club

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

The root of 'tree'

L. J. Kramer, "You gotta love a guy who's studying the root of 'tree', for elsewhere would you start?" Or words.

Here's some more on slightly related stuff: the diachrony of implicature.

Recall that for Saussure, 'arbor' is the acoustic image of the concept, 'tree'. Any implicature that was in the _past_ is no longer synchronically relevant, Etc.

See how a Gricean may refute all that, and fail


E. Traugott & R. Dasher, _Regularity in Semantic Change_. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521583780, xx+341p. Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 96.
(Reviewed by D. Lewis, University of Oxford).

"_Regularity in Semantic Change_ (RSC) focuses on the semantic-pragmatic interface. Traugott and Dasher (T&D) defend the position that there are cross-linguistic unidirectional tendencies in semantic change, at least in certain domains, and that internal semantic change largely occurs as the conventionalization of implicature."

"A further claim is that speakers/writers are the key innovators (implicatures are
controlled by the speaker/writer), hence the name of the theory proposed:
the 'Invited Inferencing Theory of Semantic Change' (IITSC)."

"The major type of semantic change is claimed to be subjectification."

"The emphasis is on

"meaning changes that are primarily linguistic
and that have implications for constraints on
lexical insertion or grammatical function" (p. 11)."

"Evidence is presented from the areas (broadly construed) of modality and deixis."

"The historical developments of modal verbs, discourse markers, performative verbs and social deixis are charted."

"Claims for unidirectional tendencies in semantic change have frequently been made in studies of grammaticalization. Traugott, in previous work, has examined the development of English discourse markers from a grammaticalization perspective (e.g. Traugott 1995)."

"RSC argues that although

"the greatest degree of semantic regularity has
so far been found in conceptual structures the lexemes
of which are typically associated with grammaticalization"
(p. 3),

regularity in semantic change is not limited to grammaticalizing lexemes."

"Regular patterns of semantic change are also found in other domains,

"especially lexemes that are verbal and
(in relevant languages) adjectival or adverbial"

"T&D do not dwell on the likely distinctions between the typical developments in these categories and those in nouns (or why nouns might be "particularly
susceptible to extralinguistic factors" (p.4)), but they keep the focus of this book firmly on verbal and adverbial development."

"The IITSC is set out in the first chapter. Assuming a broadly cognitive view of language, and drawing in part on ideas from prototype theory and construction grammar, the IITSC aims to account for the semanticization of pragmatic implicatures."

"The ITTSC focuses on the fact that "online-production and processing make
use of essentially syntagmatic relations and associations" (p. 9), and posits that
associative, metonymic relationships are more important in change than
metaphorical, analogical ones."

"In simplified terms, the model has speakers/writers exploiting invited inferences and re-weighting implicatures to the point where a lexeme acquires a stable _utterance-type meaning_ (Levinson 2000), i.e. a default, though defeasible, interpretation in a context type."

"This utterance-type meaning can then semanticize into a new sense, Meaning(2), alongside Meaning(1)."

"The path is:


i. coded meaning


ii. utterance-token meaning


iii. utterance-type (pragmatically polysemous) meaning


iv. new coded meaning (and so semantic polysemy).

"The mechanisms of such changes are said to be language-external, in that they are processes of reasoning by speakers/writers (p. 40)."

"There follows (ch. 2) an overview of prior and current approaches to semantic change, from Breal's still-influential categories of pejoration, amelioration, contagion, etc. through to recent work in historical pragmatics."

"From the early twentieth century, T&D draw particular attention to work on change within semantic fields."

"From more recent research, they focus on analyses of metaphor and metonymy by scholars of grammaticalization, on studies of subjectification, and on the formulation of neo-Gricean pragmatic principles and the relevance of these to semantic change."

"In particular, they build on Horn's neo-Gricean principles to argue for a 'Quantity-heuristic ('make your contribution sufficient', implying 'at most p'), a Relevance-heuristic ('say no more than you must', implying 'at least p'), and a Manner-heuristic ('avoid prolixity/marked expression-marked situation')."

"It is application of the Relevance heuristic, they suggest, that can result in semantic change of the type discussed in this book."

"The development in some modal verbs of epistemic meanings from deontic meanings is described in detail in the next chapter. T&D present case studies of the development of English 'must' (from ability/permission through obligation to epistemic uses), English 'ought to' (from possession 'have' through obligation to epistemic uses). These developments evidence a tendency towards more speaker-oriented meaning, and so greater subjectification. The forms' acquisition of modal meaning also involves
acquiring 'procedural meaning' in addition to 'content meaning'."

"The next case study is the development of adverbials with discourse marking functions. Analyses of 'indeed', 'in fact', and 'actually' show how the semantic development of each (manner or similar meaning -> epistemic meaning -> elaborative or clarificatory connective) is paralleled by its syntactic development involving ever-increasing scope (VP-internal adverbial -> sentential adverbial -> clause-external discourse marker)."

"'Well' and 'let's' then further exemplify the development of or extension of intersubjective meaning."

"In all these cases, subjective and often intersubjective meanings develop out of more objective, 'content' meanings."

"Chapter 5 describes the development of performative verbs and constructions from non-performatives. Typical sources for performative verbs are terms relating to visual perception, vocalization, mental states and object manipulation. Detailed histories are given, again emphasizing subjectification of meaning, of English 'promise'.

"The last main chapter deals with the development of social deictics."

"Regularities in semantic change are hard to pin down. Ullmann described how, following Breal, in the 1880s-1930s period, scholars set out to discover laws of semantic change, and to establish taxonomies of change. But "the quest for 'laws' met with very limited success, and the classificatory zeal resulted in a number of ambitious schemes built on slender empirical data" (Ullmann 1962: 196). Slender empirical data can still be a problem."

"The past two decades, however, have seen a renewal of interest in both semantics and language change. Typological studies and grammaticalization studies have both provided an impetus for a new look at the possibility of universal pathways or tendencies in meaning change. RSC can be seen as a product of such impetus."

"In past discussions of semantic change, perhaps too little attention has been paid to

(a) the notion that different types (entities, attributes, predicates) or semantic domains may tend to undergo different kinds of change by different kinds of mechanism, and

(b) the relevance to semantic change of the context types (both textual and
communicative) in which lexemes regularly occur."

"RSC takes both into account."

"Moreover, many of the difficulties inherent in interpreting the sorts of data with which historical pragmaticists have to work are acknowledged and discussed."

"RSC assembles an extremely valuable range of case histories of lexical semantic change and builds a persuasive argument for the importance of the role of discourse context in semantic change, and for gradual metonymic extension."

"One objection to the IITSC might be that the theory is not properly predictive. But such predictability is not the aim. As Harris & Campbell point out, "That the fact of change is not fully predictable does not entail either that change is random or that the limits of change cannot be stated" (1995:6). The claims of RSC are about what kinds of internal change are most likely to occur, should change occur, and by what mechanisms."

"Internal (cognitive, psycholinguistic) and external (socio-political) pressures for change may conflict. The main claim is that semantic change is not random, but is subject to identifiable regular pressures which, when they prevail over other, ad hoc pressures, lead to greater subjectivity of meaning, by the gradual semanticization of pragmatic inferences resulting from speaker/writer intention."

"Another, more substantive, possible objection concerns frequency. Claims about regularities in change are necessarily statistical claims. The unidirectional argument is an argument about the relative frequency of particular semantic pathways, yet the statistical significance of the changes discussed is not addressed in RSC. Ultimately, for such generalized claims about change to be upheld, it will be necessary to clarify what the semantic change population is and what sampling is
appropriate. This difficulty is perhaps a weakness of the semasiological approach. The data are persuasive, but by electing to examine the histories of small groups of 'successful' expressions belonging synchronically to certain modal, subjective areas of meaning, and without any quantification, it is hard to reach firm conclusions about semantic change in general. The same applies to the claim that, at the level of individual lexemes, it is 'preferred strategies' of speakers/writers that lead to semantic change, since this is presumably a claim about frequency of strategy."

"Occasionally, the reader feels that categories are in danger of becoming blurred. Four main pragmatic-semantic diachronic regularities are proposed in RSC."

(1) -subjective -> +subjective
(2) contentful -> procedural
(3) increase in scope
(4) +truth-conditional -> -truth-conditional.

"This implies a semantic theory that posits at least these four parameters of meaning. However, T&D do not claim they are necessarily independent of each other (p. 284), and in fact their status and inter-relations warrant further investigation and clarification."

"'Procedural meanings', for example, are described as "primarily indexical of speaker/writer's attitude to the discourse and the participants in it; they index metatextual relations between propositions or between propositions and the non-linguistic context" (p. 10)."

"But it is not quite clear what the evidence is for the binary distinction, nor whether contentful and procedural meanings are assumed to have different cognitive qualities, nor exactly how 'procedural' relates to 'metatextual' or 'subjective' or even to 'pragmatic', with which it seems sometimes to overlap (e.g., 'contentful meaning' is also contrasted with 'pragmatic meaning' (p. 96))."

"Overall, it is not immediately obvious that the contentful/procedural distinction is necessary or useful to the main arguments of RSC."

"There is also some uncertainty over the status of subjectification, which is described in the conclusion as "the main mechanism of semantic change" (p. 279), when previous chapters had seemed to argue that subjectification was a type of semantic change."

"We need many more detailed, quantitative analyses across time of lexical tokens in their textual and communicative contexts. This is a task that future studies in historical pragmatics, using large historical corpora, should have much to contribute to. Meanwhile, RSC is a most valuable contribution towards addressing this vast gap in our understanding of language, and towards a better understanding of the complexities of lexical semantic change."


Harris, A & L. Campbell. Historical Syntax in Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Levinson, S. Presumptive Meanings: The theory of generalized conversational implicature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Traugott, E. The role of the development of discourse markers in a theory of grammaticalization'. Paper presented at the Twelfth International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Manchester, August 1995.

Ullmann, S. Semantics. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

A Grice Brie-Party

There was virtually a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the Zany Mother Friendly Meant and the Mad Latter were having Brie cheese at it: a soft Lit-Rat was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and All Ways And Every Which Way talking over its head. `Very uncomfortable for the Lit-Rat,' thought Alice; `only, as it's asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind.'

The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: `No room! No room!' they cried out when they saw Alice coming. `There's PLENTY of room!' said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.

`Have some tea,' the Zany Mother Friendly Meant said in an encouraging tone.

Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but Brie cheese and hot grits. `I don't see any tea,' she remarked.

`There isn't any,' said the Zany Mother Friendly Meant.

`Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it,' said Alice angrily.

`Don't assume that I implied as much! It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited,' said the Zany Mother Friendly Meant, throwing knowing glances and silent kissy brackets {over the snoozing Lit-Rat} in the direction of the Mad Latter.

`I didn't know it was VIRTUALLY YOUR table,' said Alice; `it's laid for a great many more than three.'

`Your hair wants cutting,' said the Latter. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.

`You should learn not to make personal remarks,' Alice said with some severity; `it's very rude.'

The Latter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he SAID was, `Why is a raven like a writing-desk?'

`Come, we shall have some fun now!' thought Alice. `I'm glad they've begun asking a Liddell.--I believe I can guess that,' she added aloud.

`Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?' said the Zany Mother Friendly Meant.

`Exactly so,' said Alice.

`Then you should see what you mean,' the Zany Mother Friendly Meant went on, demonstratively undoing the square brackets around the [Brie], which--she was sure--in her Implicature was Conversationally the Implicatee.

`I do,' Alice hastily replied; `at least--at least I mean what I see--that's the same thing, you know.'

`Not the same thing a bit!' said the Latter, lifting his nose for this zweck out of his Oxford Etymologickall Lexicon of Archaisms Usefull in a Pinch. `You might just as well see that "I say what I eat" is the same thing, though a tad on the side of the monotonic, as "I eat what I say"!' Upon saying this he distributed generous portions of Brie to virtually all of the empty plates around the table.

`You might just as well add,' added the Zany Mother Friendly Meant, `that "I like what I get" is the same thing as "I get what I like"!' It should be added that she appeared indeed to like what she got of the Implicated Brie.

`You might just as well add,' added the Lit-Rat, who seemed to be adding in his sleep, `that "I add when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I add"!'

`It IS the same thing with you,' said the Latter, and here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and writing-desks, which wasn't much, except that her little friend Euphemia's uncle, Edgar Allan Poe (in fact related to the distinguished English Allans), had written on both.

The Latter was the first to break the silence. `What day of the month is it?' he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his ear.

Alice considered a little, and then said `The fourth.'

`Two days wrong!' sighed the Latter. `I told you beer wouldn't suit the works!' he added looking angrily at the Zany Mother Friendly Meant.

`It was the BEST GERMAN beer,' the Zany Mother Friendly Meant meekly replied.

`Yes, but some Camb. Black Holes must have got in as Well, and I don't mean Camembert,' the Latter grumbled: `you should have put it in with the bread-knife.'

The Zany Mother Friendly Meant took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then she pressed it face down into her Brie, and looked at it again and then at the impression it had made in her Brie: but she could think of nothing better to say than her first remark, `It was the BEST GERMAN beer, you know.'

Alice had been looking over her shoulder with some curiosity. `What a funny watch!' she remarked. `It tells the day of the month, and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!'

`Why should it?' muttered the Latter. `Does YOUR watch tell you what year it is?'

`Of course not,' Alice replied very readily: `but that's because it stays the same year for such a long time together.'

`Which is just the case with MINE,' said the Latter.

Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Mad Latter's remark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English, well, at least Anglo-Speranglish. `I don't quite understand you,' she said, as politely as she could.

`The Lit-Rat is asleep again,' said the Latter, and he rubbed a little Brie cheese upon its nose.

The Lit-Rat shook its head impatiently, and said, without opening its eyes, `Of course, of course; just what I was going to remark myself.'

`Have you guessed the riddle yet?' the Latter said, turning to Alice again.

`No, I give it up,' Alice replied: `what's the answer?'

`I haven't the slightest idea,' said the Latter.

`Nor I,' said the Zany Mother Friendly Meant.

Alice sighed wearily. `I think you might do something better with your time,' she said, `than waste it in discussing Gricean implicatures of simple hypothetical sentences.'

`If you knew Grice as well as I do,' said the Latter, `you couldn't talk about wasting TIME. It's HIM.'

`I don't know what you mean,' said Alice.

`Of course you don't!' the Latter said, tossing his head contemptuously. `I dare say you never even spoke to Time!'

`Perhaps not,' Alice cautiously replied: `but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.'

`Ah! that accounts for it,' said the Latter. `He won't stand beating and doesn't take kindly to being trounced, rhetorically speaking. Now, if you only kept on good terms, Gricean technical terms, with him, you could do almost anything you liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it were nine o'clock in the morning, just time to begin lessons: you'd only have to whisper a hint to Time, and round goes the clock in a twinkling; you would change your time zone, just like that! Half-past one, time for dinner!'

(`I only wish it was,' the Zany Mother Friendly Meant said to herself in a whisper.)

`That would be grand, certainly,' said Alice thoughtfully: `but then--I shouldn't be hungry for it, you know.'

`Not at first, perhaps,' said the Mad Latter: `but you could keep it to half-past one as long as you liked.'

`Is that the way YOU manage?' Alice asked.

The Latter shook his head mournfully. `Not I!' he replied. `We quarrelled last month--just before SHE went mad, you know--'(pointing with his Griessbrei spoon at the Zany Mother Friendly Meant,) `--it was at the great lecture given by Bultinek on Scalar Implicatures and Their Use in the Edjukayshun of Childers, and I was invited to play the organ and to Griceanically sing

"Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you're at!"

You know the song, perhaps?'

`I've heard something like it,' said Alice.

`It goes on, you know,' the Latter continued, `in this way:--

"Up above the world it flies,
Like a Brie with name of Grice.
Twinkle, twinkle--"'

Here the Lit-Rat shook itself, and began singing in its sleep `Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkle--' and went on so long that they had to pinch it to make it stop.

`Well, I'd hardly finished the first verse,' said the Latter, `when the Erin, the Queen of Philosophy, jumped up and bawled out, "He's murdering the time! Off with his head!"'

`How dreadfully savage!' exclaimed Alice.

`And EVERY TIME since that,' the Latter went on in a mournful tone, `EVERY TIME I write an adverbial expression concerning time, it ALL WAYS majasculates and I ALL WAYS abuse people's eyes! It's ALL WAYS six o'clock NOW.'

A bright idea came into Alice's head. `Is that the reason so many Brie- and Brei-things are put out here?' she asked.

`Yes, that's it,' said the Latter with a sigh: `it's ALL WAYS Grice-Brie-and Griessbrei-time, and we've no time to wash or change the things between whiles.'

`Then you keep moving round, I suppose?' said Alice.

`Exactly so,' said the Latter: `as the things get used up. Plus I keep repeating myself,' repeated the Latter, repetitively.

`But what happens when you come to the beginning again?' Alice ventured to ask.

`Suppose we change the subject,' the Zany Mother Friendly Meant interrupted, yawning. `I'm getting tired of this. I vote the young lady tells us a story.'

`I'm afraid I don't know one,' said Alice, rather alarmed at the proposal.

`Then the Lit-Rat shall!' they both cried. `Wake up, Lit-Rat!' And they pinched it on both sides at once.

The Lit-Rat slowly opened his eyes. `I wasn't asleep,' he said in a hoarse, feeble voice: `I heard every word you folks were saying.'

`Tell us a story!' said the Zany Mother Friendly Meant.

`Yes, please do!' pleaded Alice.

`And be quick about it,' added the Latter, `or you'll be asleep again before it's done.'

`Once upon a time there were three famous rats living on three famous rivers,' the Lit-Rat began in a great hurry; `and their names, to a rat and river, were Mississippi, Jordan, and Thames; and they all grew up at the bottoms of dirty holes and traveled, respectively, into the Gulf, the Dead Sea, and the Channel--'

`What did they live on?' said Alice, who always took a great interest in questions of eating and drinking.

`They lived on grits, that is to say, on Griessbrie, Grice Grits, a groatsworth apiece, per diem,' said the Lit-Rat, after thinking a minute or two.

`They couldn't have done that, you know,' Alice gently remarked; `they'd have been ill.'

`So they were,' said the Lit-Rat; `VERY ill.'

Alice tried to fancy to herself what such an extraordinary ways of living would be like, but it puzzled her too much, so she went on: `But why did they live at the bottoms of a dirty holes?'

`Take some more Brie,' the Zany Mother Friendly Meant said to Alice, very earnestly.

`I've had nothing yet,' Alice replied in an offended tone, `so I can't take more.'

`You mean you can't take LESS,' said the Latter: `it's very easy to take MORE than nothing.'

`Nobody asked YOUR opinion,' said Alice.

`That's NO BODY, young lady, according to the protocol, and who's making personal remarks now?' the Latter asked triumphantly.

Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she helped herself to some Brie and bread-and-butter, and then turned to the Lit-Rat, and repeated her question. `Why did they live at the bottoms of dirty holes?'

The Lit-Rat again took a minute or two to think about it, and then said, `They were Grice Holes.'

`There's no such thing!' Alice was beginning very angrily, but the Mad Latter and the Zany Mother Friendly Meant went `Sh! sh!' and the Lit-Rat sulkily remarked, `If you can't be civil, you'd better finish the story for yourself.'

`No, please go on!' Alice said very humbly; `I won't interrupt again. I dare say there may be ONE.'

`One, indeed!' said the Lit-Rat indignantly. However, he consented to go on. `And so these three little rats--they were learning to draw, you know--'

`What did they draw?' said Alice, quite forgetting her premise, 'Conclusions?'

`Implicatura,' said the Lit-Rat, without considering at all this time.

`I want a clean slice of Grice Brie,' interrupted the Latter: `let's all move one place on.'

He moved on as he spoke, and the Lit-Rat followed him: the Zany Mother Friendly Meant moved into the Lit-Rat's place, and Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the Zany Mother Friendly Meant. The Mad Latter was the only one who got any advantage from the change since EVERY BODY found THEIR SELVES sticking their noses in more of the same, old, stale, semi-regurgitated Grice Brie, mixed, if they were unlucky this move, in tepid Griessbrei, or grits: and Alice was a good deal worse off than before, as the Zany Mother Friendly Meant had just upset the milk-jug into
her plate.

Alice did not wish to offend the Lit-Rat again, so she began very cautiously: `But I don't understand. Where did they draw the Inferences or Implicatura from?'

`You can draw water out of a water-hole,' said the Latter; `so I should think you could draw inferences or implicatures out of a dirty hole--eh, stoopid?'

`But they were IN the dirty holes,' Alice said to the Lit-Rat, not choosing to notice this last remark.

`Of course they were', said the Lit-Rat; `--in deep.'

This answer so confused poor Alice, that she let the Lit-Rat go on for some time without interrupting it.

`They were learning to draw inferences,' the Lit-Rat went on, yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy; `and they drew all manner of implicating things--everything that begins with a Q--'

`Why with a Q?' queried Alice.

`Why not?' queried the Zany Mother Friendly Meant.

Alice was silent.

The Lit-Rat had closed its eyes by this time, and was going off into a doze; but, on being pinched by the Latter, it woke up again with a little shriek, and went on: `--that begins with a Q, such as queries, and queers, and Quatch, and quark-- you know you say things are "quite quizzical"--did you ever see such a thing as a drawing of quizzicalness?'

`Really, now you ask me,' said Alice, very much confused, `I don't think--'

`Then you shouldn't talk,' said the Latter.

This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off; the Lit-Rat fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that
they would call after her: the last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Lit-Rat into the bowl of Grice grits.

`At any rate I'll never go THERE again!' said Alice as she picked her way through the wood. `It's the stoopidest Grice Brie-party I ever was at in all my life!'

Just as she said this, she noticed that one of the trees had a door leading right into it. `That's very curious!' she thought. `But everything's curious today. I think I may as well go in at once.' And, figuring 'Anywent went,' in she went.

Once more she found herself in the long hall, and close to the little glass table. `Now, I'll manage better this time,' she said to herself, and began by taking the little golden key, and unlocking the door that led into the garden. Then she went to
work nibbling at the mushroom (she had kept a piece of it in her pocket) till she was about a foot high: then she walked down the little passage: and THEN--she found herself at last in the beautiful philosophical garden, among the brightly literate flower-beds and the cool clear fountains.

Grice on σχήμα

If you wondered about Grice's "something in the nature of a figure of speech" in WoW:ii, and wondered what Quintilian was thinking of when he translated Gk. skhema, here may be something of a clue. Enjoy!



From the Latin figurativus, f. figurare, to figure.

1 Representing by a figure or emblem; emblematical, typical.

1398 Trevisa Barth. De P.R. vi. xxvii. (1495) 217 Dremes ben somtyme wrappyd in fyguratyf mystyk. 1504 tr. De Imitatione iv. xi, This royall souper, in the which thou hast nat purposed to be eten the fyguratyue lambe. 1597 Hooker Eccl. Pol. v. xv. (1611) 208 This they will say was figuratiue, and serued but for a time. 1650 Bulwer Anthropomet. 174 The Nails were made..for a figurative token. 1853 Marsden Early Purit. 22 They were a part of the divinely appointed constitution of the Jewish church, and had passed away with the rest of its figurative and mystic ceremonial.


Pertaining to, or of the nature of, pictorial or plastic representation.

1607 Topsell Four-f. Beasts (1658) 156 whose heads are many pretious stones, with such naturall seals or figurative impressions as if they were framed by the hand of man. 1843 Prescott Mexico (1850) I. 77 This is the representative or figurative writing, which forms the lowest stage of hieroglyphics. 1889 J. Hirst in Archæol. Inst. Jrnl. No. 181. 34 Transmission of both geometric as well as animal and figurative decorated forms from East to West.


Of a style of the visual arts; esp. applied to painting in which the forms are recognizably derived from objective sources without necessarily being clearly representational; figurative painter: one who paints in this style.

1960 Guardian 2 Feb. 7/4 `Figurative' is a comparatively new word in the critical vocabulary of contemporary art. It implies a kind of painting that is not abstract and..not necessarily representational. 1962 Listener 19 July 93/1 There is a new interest in figurative painting today. 1962 Listener 94/1 The work of three figurative painters who have recently shown in London: Francis Bacon, Sidney Nolan, and Arthur Boyd. 1962 Listener 94/2 In their use of chance in the act of painting figurative painters today undoubtedly owe much to abstract expressionism.


Pertaining to the use of graphic symbols. figurative arithmetic: algebra. Also, Of the nature of a symbolic diagram. Obs.

1690 Leybourn Cursus Math. 335 Division is done in Figurative applying some Line of Separation between the Dividend and the Divisor. 1800 tr. Lagrange's Chem. I. 13 Let us still exhibit a figurative table.

Of speech:
Based on, or involving the use of, figures or metaphors; metaphorical, not literal.

1400 Prose Legends in Anglia VIII. 134
Legeauns & figuratif spekynges.

1568 Coverdale Hope Faithf. xxvii,
By a figurative and borrowed speech he declareth the horror..of the damned.

1589 Puttenham Eng. Poesie i. iv. (Arb.) 24
The vtterance in also not so voluble..nor in fine allowed that figuratiue meeter is.

1607 Topsell Serpents (1653) 653
A witty check, or a figurative flout.

1711 J. Greenwood Eng. Gram. 217
Customary or Figurative Syntax is that which is used in the Forms of Speech..wherein Words are put together according to a Metaphorical or borrowed Sense.

1785 Reid Int. Powers 15
There is a figurative sense in which things are said to be in the mind.


1845 H. J. Rose in Encycl. Metrop. II. 891/1
Will it be contended that this was not figurative language?

=============trouble is, how we will decide
if we don't know what Rose is talking about???

1859 Ecce Homo iii. (ed. 8) 26
The mistake of confounding a figurative expression with a literal one.

=========Mistake? A lot of my friends do it on purpose!!!

b Metaphorically so called.

1400 Prose Legends in Anglia VIII. 118
The figuratif body of Chryste that is holy chirche.

1577 Hanmer Anc. Eccl. Hist. (1619) 5
Also Princes, whom the prophets..have..made figurative Christs.

1832 Lewis Use & Ab. Pol. Terms v. 44
Confound real with figurative Sovereignty.

1842 S. Lover Handy Andy ii,
He saw a real instead of a figurative blister.


Abounding in or addicted to figures of speech.

===========I like this definition!

1589 Puttenham Eng. Poesie iii. vii. (Arb.) 166

Which thing made the graue iudges forbid all manner of figuratiue their consistorie of Iustice.

1693 Dryden Juvenal Pref.,
Sublime subjects ought to be adorned with the sublimest and with the most
figurative expressions.

1740 J. Clarke Educ. Youth (ed. 3) 88
Tho' they are..easy Authors, yet they are
more Figurative than Caesar.

=======I never found Caesar too figurative. Rather dull if you axes me.

1783 H. Blair Lect. I. xiv. 274
They will pour forth a torrent of Figurative Language.

1789 Belsham Ess. I. ii. 25 the most figurative our language.

====after J L Speranza

1878 Browning Poets Croisic 113
La Roque..broke bounds Of figurative passion.


Mus. = figurate Obs.

1744 Suppl. Harris's Lex. Techn. s.v. Counterpoint, Counterpoint is divided into simple and figurative..Figurative Counterpoint is of two Kinds, in one, Discords are introduced occasionally, as passing the other, the Discord bears a chief Part of the Harmony.



Perhaps Greek is clearer in this respect.

The skhema lexeos is Grice's figure of speech. But there was another figure, which we'll deny, 'of thought'.

Quintilian, I learned from Turner (bless him! -- he shared so many lovely documents with me), used 'skhema' and 'figura' to apply,


to the 'literal' figure.

I.e. Being 'literal' IS a figure.

Albritton made Grice realised that some of these do not stand sentential adverbs of the type I think Kramer disliked:

Metaphorically, the moon is made of cheese.

is a _ridiculous_ thing to say. It _hits_ the pail.

Ironically, he is a fine friend.

Is possible too otiose to be true (or false, for that matter).

In any case, that the Graeco-Romans (the Grecians, really, is who matter) used 'skhema' to include, 'literalness' -- brings tears to my eyes! Weren't _they_ genii?

"Legacy of Grice"

This is an old volume, which I have at the Swimming-Pool Library, ed. K. Hall, and I'm not to quote unnecessary material. But again, looking of historical references, I find it's good to rely on books which are devoted to one author -- in this case, Grice. So I rather read and re-read this book, and make annotations on it, and share -- rather than quote from various other sources.

For the record then, the list of contents:


Organised by
The Berkeley Linguistics Society.


1. S Attardo

The violation of Grice's maxims in jokes

2. D Blakemore

Constraints on interpretation

3. K Carey

The role of conversational implicature
in the early grammaticalisation of
the English perfect.

4. C Elster

Gricean maxims and reading instruction

5. G Fauconnier

Invisible meaning

6. R E Grandy,

On the foundations of conversational implicature

7. G M Green

The universality of Gricean interpretation

8. J J Gumperz

Conversational cooperation in social perspective.

9. J K Gundel, N Hedberg & R Zacharski

Givenness, implicature & the form of
referring expressions in discourse.

10. L R Horn

Hamburgers & truth:
why Gricean explanation is Gricean

11. R N Lakoff

Philosophy of language meets the real world:
or when is "enough" enough

12. E F Prince

Syntax & discourse:
a look at resumptive pronouns

13. A F Richardson & J F Richardson

On predicting pragmatic relations

14. S Rundquist

Indirectness in conversation:
flouting Grice's maxims at dinner

15. D Tannen

Rethinking power and solidarity
in gender and dominance

16. A Maida & J Wainer,

Good & bad news in
formalising generalised implicatures.

--- Comments should follow. (I don't mean, necessarily by _you_!)

Clarity Is Not Enough

In the website held by S. R. Bayne on the history of analytic philosophy we were discussing, under thread this called, "Clarity is not enough", the old adage held by -- I forget who first -- that, well

clarity is not enough.

This became the title of a book, in the Muirhead Library of Philosophy, called, undramatically,

Clarity is not enough

And we discussed that cliche to tears.

Now revising Grice's "Candour", this blog -- we see that what he had in WoW:ii as

Category of Modus
(or "Manner", mistranslated)

Be perspicuous, i.e. clear

He has four maxims:

1. be orderly
2. avoid ambiguity
3. avoid obscurity
4. be brief.

Grice played with the idea, unfounded in the philo of Kant, or Aristotle, that this category, qua conversational, relates to FORM, rather than content (to the 'manner' of speaking, Grice plays).

Now, "Clarity" -- vide "Grice's Candour", this blog -- was present in the 1966 lectures which predated the William James.

But it seems then, and hence the irony of the header, Clarity is not enough, that it was never enough for Grice or anybody else.

In the title of the Muirhead book it is meant as a bad thing: we need philosophical insight, not just clarity of expression.

In Grice's pseudo-jocular reflection on Oxonian analysis, it means, 'there's clarity' -- but there are _other_ issues at play when we speak 'conversation'.


Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity

1. Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity.

2. Members of an avian species of identical plumage congregate.

3. Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minuscule.

4. It is fruitless to become alachrymose over precipitately departed lacteal fluid.

5. Surveillance should precede saltation.

6. The stylus is more potent than the claymore.

7. Freedom from incrustations or grime is contiguous to divinity.

8. It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative manoeuvres.

9. Eschew the implement of corruption and vitiate the scion.

10. The temperature of the aqueous content of an unremittingly ogled saucepan does not reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

11. Neophyte's serendipity.

12. Male cadavers are incapable of yielding any testimony.

13. Individuals who make their abode in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting petrons projectiles.

14. Where there are visible vapours having their provenance in ignited carbonaceous material there is conflagration.

15. All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.

16. Sorting, on the part of mendicants, must be interdicted.

17. Exclusive dedication to necessary chores without interlude of hedonistic diversion render John a hebetudinous fellow.

18. A plethora of individuals with expertise in culinary techniques vitiates the potable concotion produced by steeping comestibles.

19. The person presenting the ultimate cachinnation possesses, thereby, the optimal cachinnation.

20. Missiles of ligneous or petrous consistency have the potential of fracturing my osseeous structure but appellations will eternally be benign.

--- So I found this list which provoked me to sort of coin the image, 're-figuring', or 'de-figuring'.

It seems to me that

(i) Exclusive dedication to necessary
chores without interlude of hedonistic
diversion render John a hebetudinous fellow.

and the better known idiom, (ii)

is a matter of 're-figuring'. Etc. In this case there are some ObG to consider, but I won't right now!

Grice on Katz's "Halitosis"

Thanks to L. M. Tapper for the gem. Indeed, Katz, who is of New Jersey, was perhaps too optimistic in taking the 'null-context' of the anonymous letter too seriously.

Halitare, in Latin, is to breathe. I learned all about it from Episode iii of Dennis Potter's Pennies from Haven.

Gemma Craven plays this wonderful working-class (not so working, but you know what I mean) lady in the BBC serial. Nigel Havers knocks on the door for a halitosis treatment, or perhaps she is reading about it in a magazine. I have the script of the thing as published by Kenith (sic) Trodd. Genii.

Anyway, to breathe, halitare, is all it means. Cf. halitus. -Osis fails, in my view, to bring in the implicature of BAD breath, though:

Condition; process; action: osmosis.
Diseased or abnormal condition: neurosis.
Increase; formation: leukocytosis.
[Latin -ōsis, from Greek, n. suff.]



Allomorphism in Grice

S. R. Bayne recently commented on "Structure" -- a lovely word I was recently revising vis a vis the death of Levi-Strauss. I see him (Levi-Strauss) as a philosopher, when he wrote so much about structure. If we, scruples of Griceans, tend to be more of a 'functionalist' bunch, that's because we want to be _different_?

Bayne comments on 'isomorphism' ('we'll call it isomorphism' he charmingly writes). I was looking for an antonym for this. Of course allomorphism. Inisomorphism is never so euphonic.

Bayne is commenting at a very abstract level of argumentation for or against Russell's tropes on isomorphism of structural relations. You can't get more abstract than that!

Oddly, when Eve Sedgwick died, I wrote an obit, elsewhere, which I entitled, as I believe, "allosexual". She found that '-sexual' is allopathetic, as it were. There's homosexual, heterosexual, and 'allosexual'. She borrows the term from clever linguists (As I do allomorph).

But these are purely Grecian terms, whereas 'allosexual' is, alas, a pretty horrible 'hybrid' (of Grecian and Roman, that is).

More later, I hope.

Bayeux's Fault -- And DeFault

Kramer is right, Anglophones are importing from France since at least 1066. So what gives. Strictly, the antonym of 'default' is 'fault'. Odd that. But ask your neighbour if she can think, fastly, of the antonym of "by default". Sure she'll have "a train to catch", as she'll say.


Coined by L. GOOSSENS, in his 'Metaphtonymy', in L Goossens, P Pauwels, B. Rudzka-Ostyn, A Simon-Vandenbergen & J Vanparys, eds. Metaphor/Metonymy. Mailto:OED3 about it.

The word was coined by L. Gossens in 1990, & was reviewed by C. Forceville in _JPragm_ (vol. 28) -- review of P Bawels & al, Metaphor/metonymy.

Gossens's essay is repr., with a postscript, in R Dirven & R Poerings, _Metaphor and Metonymy_ (Gruyter)).

C. Forceville writes:

"In his first contribution, "Metaphtonymy: the interaction of metaphor & metonymy in figurative expressions for linguistic action," Goossens proposes to investigate non-literal linguistic action expressions with as their donor domains `body parts,' `sound,' and `violent action.' The database yields about 100 items in each of these categories, which are further subdivided.

In the `sound' category, Goossens mentions "to bark" (as in "to bark a command") as a typical example of metaphor. The situation is different, however, for "giggle", in
"`Oh dear,' she giggled, 'I'd quite forgotten.'""Giggle," Goossens argues, can be understood in terms of metaphor, namely if we conceive of the speaker talking as if giggling. On the other hand, we can also interpret the utterance as a _combo_ of talking and giggling.

If the latter, no domain boundaries are crossed; the giggling is part of the whole, which suggests synecdoche, hence metonymy. But often contexts do not unequivocally make clear which of the situations applies.

Goossens concludes that in many such cases, "we are still aware of the metonymic
basis in the metaphorical interpretation" (p. 164) and hence proposes to call this

`metaphor from metonymy.'

While the domain of violent action, providing only a handful of items with a metonymic ingredient, is dealt with in a short, somewhat cryptic half page, the domain of body parts is rich and complex enough to warrant further subdivisions.
About half of the 100 cases can be classified as

pure metaphors


pure metonyms;

most of the remaining (`mixed') cases feature either

`metaphor from metonymy'

(As in "talk with one's tongue in one's cheek"
and "close-lipped"), or

`metonymy within metaphor'

("Bite one's tongue off"; "catch someone's ear").

In the latter, a body-part occurs both in the donor and the target domain, but with such a different function that a metaphorical interpretation is inescapable.

Goossens also discusses two rare cases,

`metaphor within metonymy'

`demetonymization in a metaphorical context,'

each of which he identifies only once in his corpus.

While Goossens' two main categories of `metaphtonymy' are suggestive, the single occurrences of the rare cases do not lead to a clear delineation and require further
theorizing. In his second paper, Goossens discusses metaphtonymy in more depth by applying the concept to uses of the word `mouth' in the works of Aelfric (late Old English), Chaucer (Middle English), and Shakespeare (early Modern English) respectively -- which allows for a diachronic investigation.

Goossens first distinguishes five metonymic uses of


supporting them with examples from his corpus.

-- We should do 'arse'
as in

"We sailed to the arsehole of the river".

Sadly, I see the arsehole of the river from my window -- every morning!

"After showing that some cases could also be interpreted literally, and hence that there is a clear continuum between literal and metonymic uses, he goes on to demonstrate his thesis that some cases are mid-way between metonyms and metaphors -- his metaphtonyms."

Whereas some cases in the corpus are ambiguous between metonym and metaphor, allowing for two discrete interpretations, others feature aspects of both, and
should therefore be located somewhere on the continuum between them, whereby the subtypes identified in Goossens' preceding paper are illustrated and discussed.

The final part examines to what extent the five main types of metonymy involved in


have become


-- NOT pace Grice! -- in present-day English, and suggests which factors have contributed to, or blocked, standardization.

Although Goossens adduces a wealth of data, which convincingly show different subtypes of metonymy, their metaphorical element remains

somewhat obscure.

to speak metaphtonymically.

This is mainly due to the fact that he fails to discuss in sufficient detail how in his examples a feature from a donor domain is projected onto another domain, which is, after all, the hallmark of metaphor, if not metonymy (Never mind metaphtonymy).

This remaining unclear, it is in turn difficult to see how exactly the different subtypes of metaphtonymy are to be distinguished from one another."

Or, as Grice would say,

Do not multiply metaphtonymies beyond neccesity/metonymy.


Ceteris Paribus: Grice on

Yes, he uses it so often, that I once concocted a horseshoe that read

A --CP--> B


If A, ceteris paribus, B.

It was never accepted, though (or gained universal acceptance). But it _was_ a good operator. Logicians use a crooked arrow to the same effect, "nonmonotonically yields", but I follow Kemmerling in using _that_ to mean, 'causes as per reason' -- for the use by Kemmerling vide his "Utterer's meaning revisited". For the use by nonmonotonic logicians -- as different from monotone ones -- vide "Tweety is a bird, therefore, (unless he is an ostrich), she flies".

Kitz Katz (Grice on Katz on Grice)

Thanks to L. Tapper replying to L. Kramer. Indeed, as Katz, of New Jersey would do: write anonymous (context-insensitive) letters to 'friends':



For them to Montagovian as they pleased.


Jerrold J. Katz, semanticist and philosopher, died in Manhattan on 7
February 2002. That was a Friday, right? He was Distinguished Professor in Philosophy and Linguistics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. This center caters for graduates, only.

Katz knew Grice well, more than we can say the reverse held, alas.

In "Common sense in semantics", for example, in E. Lepore, 1987, Katz cares to cite Grice (1968) on meaning cited on pp. 165ff

it's not clear if what we mean is what _Grice_ means.

And on p. 176ff,

Grice/Strawson 'In defense of a dogma'.

Katz's claim to infame was to think that 'analytic' CAN be defined 'anonymously'!

In 1976, Katz/Langendoen, as cited by Gazdar 1979:42, Katz is all about the "special notion of conversational implicature" as being "eliminable":

"An utterer of 'x' conversationally
implicates that p in saying that x
in the context C (!) just in

(a) PRAGM [hypothetical function]
assigns the reading R as
its output
for a structural description of S
& appropriate info about C &

(b) the proposition represented
by R -> [semantically -- truth-conditionally --
entails] P.

Kitz Katz at her best!

Gazdar comments: [sadly?], this "obliterates" Grice's "fundamental
distinction between implicating and explicating" (saying).

And almost undermines the whole purpose of this club!

A bibliography of J. J. Katz is a good thing to consider:

1957. Review of Chomksy, _Syntactic Structures_, Lg 33

1962. The problem of induction and its solution.
this is a joke on the bad chapter of Strawson,
Introduction to logical theory.
"the problem of induction is no problem".

1962. JA Fodor/Katz.

1963. JA Fodor/Katz.

1964. JA Fodor/Katz.

1964. Semisentences. In Katz/Fodor.

1964. & P M Postal. An integrated theory of linguistic ability. Cambridge,
Mass: Research Monog. 26.

1964. Analyticity and contradiciton in natural language. In Fodor/Katz
1964. JA Fodor/JJK, eds.

1965. Semantic theory and the meaning of 'good'. Journal of Philosophy 61.
A joke on Grice, WoW -- cfr. My "Reluctant Cannibal" in R. Vanegas's files, somewhre.
"Some say, wrongly, that 'x is good' means 'I commend x'" (Grice WoW:i)

1966. The philosophy of language. Harper.

1967. Recent issues in semantic theory. FL 3

1967. Some remarks on Quine on analyticity. JL 64
(cfr. H. P. Grice/Strawson 'In defense of a dogma')

Recall the two brilliant examples by this double act:

My neighbour's three-year old child
understands Russell's theory of type

expectable conversational move:
"And my child is Rudolf Nureyev"

My neighbour's three-year old child
is an adult.

expectable conversational move:
"And you are not".

1969. Unpalatable recipes for buttering parsnips. Journal of Philosophy 65.

1970. Interpretive semantics meets Frankenstein. FL 7

1970. Interpretive vs. generative semantics. LI 2
(i.e. Chomsky-Jackendoff vs. Mccawley-Ross
[deep structure = semantic interpretation]

1971. The philosophical relevance of linguistic theory. In Searle.

1971. Linguistic philosophy. Allen & Unwin.

1971. Generative semantics _is_ interpretive semantics. LI 2

1971. The underlying reality of language and its philosophical impact.

1972. Semantic theory. Harper.

1972. Some things Kuhn never told us. Cited by Chomksy in Peters.
(C'm on -- he was not _gay_, was he?)(I read today, actually Momma told me, Salinger died yesterday --).

1972. Logic and language: an examination of recent criticisms of

1973. On defining presupposition. LI 4.
A joke on Strawson. See my "Robbing Peter to pay Paul"
For Grice, 'presupposes' reduces to 'implicates', WoW:xvii

1973. Tacit knowledge. Journal of Philosophy 70.
cfr. Grice _against_ subterranean knowledge, in Reply to Richards.

1974. Mentalism in Linguistics. Lg 40

1974. Meaning postulates & semantic theory. With R. Nagel. FL 11 cfr. Carnap.

1974. Where things now stand with the analytic/synthetic distinction?
Synthese 28.
I thought they were sitting. Such a bore!

1975. A. N. Chomsky/Katz

1975. The neo-classical theory of reference. In French & al.

1975. Logic and language: a defense of intensionalism. Minesotta St Ph Sc 8

1976. Pragmatics and presupposition. Lg 52 (with DT Langendoen)

1976. T G Bever, JJK and DT Langendoen.

1977. Propositional structure & illocutionary force:
a study of the contribution of sentence meaning
to speech acts. Harverster.

1977. A proper theory of names. Phil St. 31

1977. TG Bever & JJK.

1978. The theory of semantic representation. Erkenntnis 13.

1979. A solution to the projection problem of presupposition.
In Dinnen/Oh

1980. Chomsky on meaning. Lg 56.

1981. Language & other abstract objects. Blackwell.

1981. The linguist as mathematician. Platonist linguistic theory.
Linguistic theory and general scientific methodology.

1981. Literal meaning and linguistic theory. Journal of Philosophy 77.

1985. Cogitations. OUP.

1985. ed. The philosophy of linguistics. Oxford Readings in Philosophy.
Includes his own, 'Some notes on what linguistics is about'.

1987. Common sense in semantics. In E. Lepore, New directions in semantics.

So you see he got more and more abstract with the years, and then he died. R. I. P.

抄送主题 -- "implicature" in Chinese


The problem with people travelling to China is that they miss a few implicatures. In fact, most travellers miss implicatures, along with lugagge.



As an exercise, select three from the below, and paste why you think the 'implicature' didn't travel.


At a Budapest zoo:

Cocktail lounge, Norway:

Doctor's office, Rome:

Hotel, Acapulco:

Car rental brochure, Tokyo:

In a Nairobi restaurant:

On the grounds of a private school:

On a poster in New York:

In a City restaurant:

A sign seen on an automatic restroom hand dryer:

In a Indian maternity ward:

In a cemetery:

Tokyo hotel's rules and regulations:

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:

In a Bangkok temple:

Hotel room notice, Thailand:

Hotel brochure, Italy:

Hotel lobby, Romania:

Hotel, Yugoslavia:

Hotel, Japan:

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:

Taken from a menu, Poland:

Supermarket, Hong Kong:

In an East African newspaper:

Hotel, Vienna:

A sign posted in Germany's Black Forest:

Hotel, Zurich:

An advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist:

A laundry in Rome:

Tourist agency, former Czechoslovakia:

The box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong:

In a Swiss mountain inn:

Airline ticket office, Copenhagen:

Five Pretexts to Read Grice

Kramer has expanded on what he means by 'context' in "Grice's polytheism". He notes that Grice lacks, as it were, an analysis of insults, 'comme il faut'. I replied to the effect that Grice distrusted the word 'context'.

Pretext seems to fare better.

Grice on context. Unfortunately, S. R. Chapman, who spent hours with the Grice Collection -- BANC 90/135c -- at Bancroft, does not care to quote much from

"The general theory of context"

that Grice wrote in _fun_.

Grice writes of the otiosity of the philosophical dictum -- but can't place the p. of Chapman right now -- and have to go to the cinema, soon! -- (words:)

context is very important


It's not! I mean, it _is_, but is sometimes UNimportant to stress how important context always is. But I see if I can find the notes, and report them back. I seem to remember I posted the things elsewhere (I can't recall which of them) entitled perhaps, "Out of context" which was a phrase that pleased me and that Grice (and Balderston) use(s) it. Grice, bad: "out of context" -- what does it mean? Balderston, good, in his book "Borges out of context", or "Out of context: Borges on historical i-rreferences", or something.


-- "context" is always brought up by London linguists, notably Firth, etc.


Hello! And...Structure


I'm new to the list and Google. So I'm trying to figure
stuff out, still. Instead of using this as a test or learning
experience only, I'll throw in a philosophical remark.

Russell describes structural similarity of two relations
in terms of a mapping between the relata (or elements
of the field) of that relation under the condition that
order is preserved. Analysis of Matter and PM. vol 2).
Well, this idea of structural similarity is very important
in Russell's later philosophy of science and it is interesting
to think of cases of structural similarity. Let's look at some

Is there a structural isomorphism (we'll call it), between
relations in the world and those of "inner" experience
of "conscious events? If so, contingently so is my quess.
But now take the spectrum; invert it. Structural isomorphism?
I think so. But notice this difference. In the first case the
relation is (or looks) contingent. But in the latter case things
are quite different; for if I know that all I've done is invert
the spectrum, then I know a priori that there will in fact
be structural isomorphism.

This may relate, productively, to issues about functionalism.
(Shoemaker 1966?) But it is interesting in connection with
the issue of the synthetic a priori: for the relation of
structural isomorphism appears to be synthetic a priori
in the color case but not the case where the sought isomorphism
is between world and experience.



Grice in the Inner City

Playing the Dozens -- With Grice.

When Grice was at Berkeley, there was this normative in Oakland to the effect that "she don't know nothing" (ebonic) was NOT a breach of Grice, "Do not say what you lack evidence for". Or words.


"Your mother has so many crabs she walks sideways."

-- In Grice's parlance,

By uttering (i) above,

U means that
[A(addresse)'s] mother has so many crabs
she walks sideways.

"mother-f*cker" involves a different narrowing anaphora. Surely it seems to mean,

You make love to your own mother.

that is involved, and not just, You make love to any old mother. But why?

So, let's playing the Dozens with Grice.

I read online, at, that

"the expression "playing the dozens" means to taunt another person by
taunting, kidding, "jiving," teasing or insulting their family"

if you have any.

Motivated by Kramer's 'insults' -- i.e his attempt at a pragmatics of insults in his "Grice's polytheism" I am motivated to retrieve these notes which I had posted elsewhere, to little avail. This online source continues:

"in essence, to use "snaps." This "gaming" has deep roots in the humour,
personality, and social relationships of Black Americans. Across the coutry
there are many names for "playing the dozens", such as
"sounding", and

"While the names vary, the rules of the game remain the same. Playing the
dozens is _more_ than a game of fun -- it is a battle for respect. It is an
exhibition of emotional strength and verbal agility, a confrontation of
wits instead of fists. The dozens is a war of words -- perhaps the best
type of war there is. This verbal tradition combines elements of boxing,
chess, and poetry. In a contest demanding the poise and power of a boxer,
the aim is not just to win but to deliver a knockout. Fought before a
crowd, the verbal pugilist wants not only his opponent but all who witness
to think twice about confronting him or her again. Like chess, playing the
dozens requires a strategy. To win a battle, you must stay two or three
snaps ahead of your opponent. Even as you are being attacked, you should be
setting up your COUNTER-snaps. Should I say something about his Fayva
shoes? Or perhaps attack his fat sister? I'll save my best shot for his
Kmart cologne. This is the type of strategic thinking that makes a master
snapper. Painting humorous pictures of your opponent through words is key
to becoming a dozens laureate. "You're so fat, your blood type is Ragu" is
an actual snap fired in a legendary battle at New York's Frederick Douglass
Projects. The picture created by this verbal H-bomb still haunts the victim
to this day. Snaps have to be delivered properly in order to work
effectively. The setup -- "Your mother is so fat..." -- is a classic
example of how to cock the hammer for the ensuing snap --" ... she broke
her arm and gravy poured out." Like the firing of an individual snap, the
delivery of a series of snaps requires a rhythm. You might loft your
initial snaps slowly, then fire the successive barrage with increasing
speed. Members of the audience serve a number of fundamental roles in
playing the dozens. First, they are needed to witness the event. Playing
the dozens without an audience is like launching fireworks in daylight.
Second, they are responsible for recording the verbal history of the
battle, and then for spreading it throughout the community. Third, they
fuel the conflict by responding to the snaps, and it is their reaction that
determines the ultimate winner."

Hardly the candour of Grice or Leech when the postulate, 'among the various maxims conversationalists may be held to follow, on occasion" "such as 'be polite' and other maxims of 'moral' or 'aesthetic' character".

So are Black Americans _flouting_ or merely _refuting_ Grice?

The following interview should elucidate us:

* Q: How do you get the audience on your side?
A: Drawing the crowd's laughter at your opponent is what wins battles.
To elicit laughter, you must *recognise* what makes the audience laugh.
First, your snaps must be clever, original, and appear to have been crafted
solely for your opponent. Second, a snap that touches a shared reality is a
good bet. E.g. "Your family is so poor, your father's face is on food
stamps." Third, after snapping, you should occasionally eye the crowd.
This will keep them laughing at your snaps, in fear of becoming a target if
they don't.

* Q: Why is "your mother" so often the subject of snaps?
A: Like the proverbial "Mom" tattooed on a sailor's arm, there is nothing
more dear to a man than his mother. Mother snaps go to the soft underbelly
of your opponent. In the early days of snapping, mother jokes were the big
guns. Their deployment was saved as a last resort -- one that often
elicited the response, "Don't talk about my mother!". Nowadays, "your
mother" is a stylized opening of most snaps. In fact, they are also
commonly referred to as "mother jokes".

* Q: Where is the dozens played?
A: In playgrounds, on subways, at pizza parlours, in the classroom, on
street corners, in locker rooms -- anywhere peers hang out. A game of the
dozens can be sparked by contact on the court or words exchanged on the
street. Increasingly, you can see the dozens played in comedy clubs as
comedians defend themselves against audience hecklers. Some comedians get
more laughs from snapping on the audience than from their routines.

* Q: What is the distance that I should maintain between myself and my
A: You may get as close as you want to your opponent without making
physical contact. Spatial relations are an important aspect of the game.
You can use distance to heighten the effect of a snap. A snap punctuated by
a hip shake, fluttering eyes, or lewd hand motion needs space in order for
the audience to appreciate the effect of your body language. When the snap
is composed of words alone, closing in on your opponent may enhance the
power of the attack.

* Q: Do women play the dozens?
A: Historically, the dozens has been a male experience, but women are
playing in increasing numbers. Fortunately for men, most battles remain
within the sexes.

* Q: What do you wear when playing the dozens?
A: It is smart to wear clothes that do not give ammunition to your
opponent. Battling while wearing a strange outfit could be a death wish. If
you sense that you might be drawn into the dozens on any given day, be
prepared not only with your wit but with your wardrobe.

* Q: Do you need a loud voice to win a game?
A: No. What is important is that you be aware of what kind of voice you
have, and use it to your advantage. If you are soft-spoken, do not try to
yell, the audience will misinterpret the straining of your voice as a sign
that your opponent is landing his snaps effectively. Instead, speak softly
and carry a big snap. In short, the dozens is a thinking person's game.
However, the tradition lives on because the game has soul. Ultimately,
mastery of the dozens demands that you go to that place where humour,
anger, joy, and pain all reside. It is from that cauldron that the greatest
snaps are born and delivered.

Some samples of Snaps.

* "Stupid & Ugly" Snaps:

You're so stupid, it takes you an hour to cook Minute rice.
You're so dumb, you think Taco Bell is a Mexican phone company.
Your girlfriend is so stupid, the first time she used
a v- she cracked her two front teeth.
You're so dumb, if you spoke your mind you'd be speechless.
Your sister is so stupid, she went to the baker for a yeast infection.
You're so dumb, you failed Romper Room.
Your mother is so dumb, she couldn't pass a blood test.
You're so stupid, you asked for a price check at a 99¢ store.
You were so ugly at birth, your parents named you "[expletive deleted]
Your brother is so ugly, when he sits in the sand the cat tries to bury him.
Your girlfriend is so ugly, you gave her a hickey and got a mouthful of fur.
You're so ugly, you couldn't get laid if you were a brick.

* "Body" Snaps:

Your [expletive deleted] are so small, you have to tattoo "front" on your
Your mother has one leg longer than the other and they call her Hip-Hop.
Your sister is so skinny, her bra fits better backward.
Your sister is so skinny, she could win the Miss Somalia pageant.
Your mother is so crossed-eyed, she thinks her only child is a twin.
Your girlfriend has so much hair on her chest, her tits look like coconuts.
Your teeth have more tartar then Red Lobster.
Your sister is so bucktoothed, she can eat corn on the cob through a fence.
You're so skinny, Sally Struthers sends you food.
Your mother is so fat, she broke her arm and gravy poured out.
Your father is so fat that when he rubs his thighs together, I swear I
smell bacon.
Your mother is so fat, she's got more chins than Chinatown.
Your mother is so fat, her blood type is Ragu.
Your mother is so fat, when she dances the band skips.

* "Old" & "Smelly" Snaps:

Your breath smells like Cheez Doodles--light on the cheese and heavy on the
Your breath smells so bad, people on the phone hang up.
Your mother is so old, she was a waitress at the Last Supper.
Your grandmother is so old, she wrote the foreword to the Bible.
Your mother is so old, she knew Burger King when he was just a prince.
Your mother is so old, her Social Security number is in Roman numerals.
Your mother is so old, her Social Security number is 1.

* "Poor" Snaps:

Your family is so poor, your mother calls TV dinner trays her good china.
Your parents are so poor, they got married for the rice.
Your car is so old, they stole the Club and left the car.

* "Sex" Snaps:

I heard you were getting sex all the time until your wrist got arthritis.
Your father is like cement--it takes him two days to get hard.
Your mother is like a doorknob because everyone takes a turn.
The only difference between your girlfriend and
a subway is that everybody hasn't ridden a subway.
When I see a Christmas card that says "ho-ho-ho," I know to address it to
your sister.
Your mother has so many crabs she walks sideways.
You're so horny, the last time you felt a breast it came out of a KFC bucket.

Time to quote some Leech:

"If we acknowledge the existence of an irony principle, we should also
acknowledge other 'higher-order principle' which has the opposite effect.
While irony is an apparently friendly way of being offensive
(mock-politeness), the type of verbal behaviour known as 'banter' is an
offensive way of being friendly (mock-impoliteness). ... The Banter
Principle, as we may call it, is clearly of minor importance compared with
other rhetorical principles ... But it is manifested in a great deal of causal linguistic conversation, particularly among young people.
(A ritualised form of banter is the activity of 'sounding' (a ceremonial
exchange of insults) practiced in the black community of New York, as
studied by W Labov, "Rules for Ritual Insults". This language game depends
for its effect on the understanding that the allegations made by each party
are recognised as untrue, and therefore on the fact that they cannot be
mistaken for real insults). In a game of chess, one person may say jokingly
to another:
"What a mean cowardly trick!"
referring to a particular clever gambit. Or two friends may greet one
another with remarks such as
"Here comes trouble!" or
"Look what the cat's brought in!"
This principle may be expressed as follows: In order to show solidarity
with A, say something which is i. obviously untrue, and ii. obviously
impolite to A. Like irony, banter must be clearly recognised as unserious.
Since overpoliteness ... can have the effect of signifying superiority or
ironic distance, UNDERpoliteness can have the opposite effect of
establishing or maintaining a bond of familiarity. The reason is this. A
low value on the scales of authority and social distance correlates with a
low position on the scale of politeness; i.e. the more intimate the
relationship, the less important it is to be polite. hence lack of
politeness in itself can become a sign of intimacy; and hence, the ability
to the impolite to someone in jest helps to establish and maintain such a
familiar relation-ship. The implicature derived from the Banter Principle
is just the opposite of that derived from the Irony Principle: What U says
is impolite to A and is clearly untrue. Therefore, what U really _means_ is
polite to A and true. We might go so far as to call the Banter Principle a
"_third_ order" principle, because it may itself exploit irony. Banter
could be described as mock-irony in cases like
"A fine frined YOU are!"
said jokingly (say) to a partner who has given away an advantage in a card
game. The intepretation of this utterance requires a double reversal of
i. You are a fine friend. (face-value).
ii. By which I mean that you are NOT a fine friend (Irony Principle).
iii. But actually, you ARE my friend, and to show it, I am being impolite
to you (Banter Principle)."

As I learned from T. Shippey elsewhere (I often contribute to ANSAX-L, the list for Anglo-Saxon England, kept by Shippey):

The name of the game was 'flyte':

"Parks is well aware, it should be said, of the notion of "ludic flyting,"
citing the modern teenage practice of "playing the dozens," and noting
acutely the example of

_The Owl and the Nightingale_,

where there is an element of truth in what the disputants say, but where nevertheless the basic activity of the disputing birds is

"And either seide of otheres cust
That alre worste that hi wuste."
("And each said of the other's quality the very worst
that she knew how to.") (Review of PARKS).

One quote in the OED under 'banter' should please Leech:

"To talk of .. Maxims ...
[and of Principle. JLS]
Is to be ... thought a

as says E. Walker in the Epictetus Mor. 1692 (lxvii).

For Leech,

"In order to show solidarity with A [addressee], say
something which is
i. obviously untrue, and
ii. obviously impolite to A."

For Leech, 'banter' gets technically _analysed_, as per the two clauses above, in terms of (we may say) "QUALITY" -- Grice's

"Try to make your contribution one that is true
-- do not say what you believe to be false" --

_AND_ "Be polite".

Leech's "banter principe" thus relies on both the cooperative principle
(and thus on quality) _and_ politeness.

Only for Grice, again, this is not CONVERSATIONAL:

"There are, of course, all sorts of
_other_ maxims (aesthetic, social, or
moral in character), such as 'Be polite,'
that are normally observed by participants
in talk exchanges, and these may _also_
generate nonconventional implicatures."

But such maxims, such as 'be polite', would, Grice is clear about this, and I follow, NOT pertain to the 'goals' of communication/conversation he regarded as 'central' (mutual influencing, that is)(but why?) -- being, rather, thingies that merely do with saving your face (as Goffman would put it).

"Banter" and this displeases Speranza has "etym. unk.". I am a sceptic, and I distrust "etym. knowns", too. I find it terrible on the part of a lexicographer, that he would care to let us know when something is unknown. Liar! Surely we can invent!

In any case, the word, or its tr., was not unknown to Aristotle, who refers to the 'banter' of Aristophanes, or to Cicero.

In English, the noun, 'banter' was treated as "slang" by Jonathan Swift in 1688. In his 'Apology' to _A Tale of a Tub_ (1710), he says that 'banter'

"was first borrowed from the bullies in White Friars,
then fell among the footmen, and at last retired
to the pedants".

In _The Tatler_ No. 230, he classes it with "bamboozle", "country put", and
"kidney", as a word "invented by some pretty Fellows" and "now struggling
for the Vogue."

The earliest cites include: * 1690 John Locke,
An Essay Concerning Humane Undersanding III. ix. Sect.7:
"He that first brought the word "banter"
in use, put together as he thought fit,
those ideas he made it stand for."

This is an excellent quote for Leech is no Lockean there. He thinks he CAN analyse 'banter' alla Grice and win our respect! (And he does!).

* 1710 SWIFT Tatler No. 230 P 7:

"I have done my utmost for some years past to
stop the Progress of Mobb and Banter."

* 1722 WODROW Corr. (1843) II. 659

"Such plain raillery, that unless I should
learn banter and Billingsgate, which I still
thought below a historian, there is no
answering it."

The OED2 fails to note a point by C. Onions in _The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology -- viz the earliest cite ever: Pepys 1667

banter: ridicule good-humouredly;
also sb. XVII (the vb. is used by
Pepys, 'Diary', 24 Dec. 1667). Of unkn.
origin; its introduction and vogue are
referred to by Locke ('An Essay
Concerning Human Understanding', III ix
s. 7) and Swift ('Tale of a Tub, Apol.',
and 'Tatler' No. 230).]

Now to the
"Signification(s)" -- pedant! -- according to the OED2

1. 1.

Wanton nonsense talked in ridicule of a subject or person.

2. Hence: humorous ridicule generally

3. good-humoured raillery, pleasantry.


* 1702 Eng. Theophrast. 232:

"The ordinary reasons of War and Peace,
are very little better than Banter and Paradox."

* 1705 S. WHATELY in Perry Hist. Coll. Amer. Col. Ch. I. 172:

"I know no better way of answering bombast,
than by banter."

* 1710 SWIFT T. Tub (1760) Apol. 11

"Peter's Banter (as he calls it in his
Alsatia phrase) upon transubstantiation."

* 1844 DICKENS Mar. Chuz. (C.D. ed.) 249

"She took it for banter, and giggled

* 1880 L. STEPHEN Pope v. 113

"Gay had an illimitable flow of
good-tempered banter.

2. an given _instance_ of such ridicule, a merry jest.


* 1700 Ch. Eng. Loyalty in Somers Tracts II. 562
"'Tis such a Jest, such a Banter, to say,
we did take up Arms, but we did not kill him:
Bless us, kill our King, we wou'd not have
hurt a Hair of his Head!"

* 1759 DILWORTH Pope 80:
"Satires on the nobility of both sexes,
banters upon good authors."

* 1822 W. IRVING Braceb. Hall xvii. 147
"The general had received all her approaches with
a banter."

3. a matter of ridicule or jest.
* 1719 D'URFEY Pills (1872) I. 167:
"Your zeal's a Banter to all men of Sense."

4. (U.S.) A challenge to a race, shooting-match, etc.
* 1835 LONGSTREET Georgia Scenes 26
"No, said Peter, you made the banter, now
make your pass."
* 1848 in BARTLETT Dict. Amer.
* 1861 WINTHROP John Brent (1883) ii. 16
"I'm goan to make yer a fair banter."
* 1872 SCHELE DE VERE Americanisms 439
"We had a fine banter, but the match was
postponed till spring."

Qua verb:
1. 1. To make fun of (a person).
2. To hold up to ridicule, 'roast'.
3. To jest at, rally, 'chaff', of good-humoured raillery.

* 1676 D'URFEY Mad. Fickle v. i. (1677) 50
"Banter him, banter him, Toby. 'Tis
a conceited old Scarab, and will yield
us excellent sport."
* 1741 RICHARDSON Pamela (1824) I. 112
"You delight to banter your poor servant,
said I."
* 1824 W. IRVING T. Trav. I. 91
"Hag-ridden by my own fancy all night,
and then bantered on my haggard looks
the next day."
* 1865 CARLYLE Fredk. Gt. IX. xx. vi. 116
"Poor Quintus was bantered about it,
all his life after, by this merciless King."

2. To ridicule, make a jest of (a thing).
* 1704 W. PERRY Hist. Coll. Amer. Col. Ch. I. 180
"Turns his Pulpit to a Stage,
And banters reformation."
* 1754 CHATHAM Lett. Nephew iv. 24
"If they banter your regularity, order,
and love of study, banter in return their
neglect of them."

3. 1. To impose upon (a person), originally in jest
2. to delude, cheat, trick, bamboozle.
* 1688 VILLIERS (Dk. Buckhm.) Confer. (1775) 174
"'Tis impossible, that all my senses
should be banter'd and cheated."
* 1710 Select. Harl. Misc. (1793) 561
"There was no bantering the commissioners
named in the bill, because they knew
them to be men of sense, honour, and courage."
* 1722 DE FOE Moll. Fl. (1840) 60
"We diverted ourselves with bantering several
poor scholars, with hopes of being at least his
lordship's chaplain."
* 1815 SCOTT Guy M. li,
"Somebody had been bantering him with
an imposition."

4. "to banter out of": to do out of by banter.
* 1687 T. BROWN Saints in Upr. Wks. 1730 I. 74
"To banter folks out of their senses."
* 1721 AMHERST Terrae Fil. xxxvii. 195
"We will not be banter'd out of it
by false parallels."

5. absol. or intr. usages:
* 1688 SHADWELL Sqr. Alsatia I. i. 15
"He shall cut a sham, or banter with the
best wit or poet of em all."
* 1707 FARQUHAR Beaux' Strat. v. iii. 63
"He fights, loves, and banters, all in a Breath."
* 1865 GROTE Plato I. vii. 291
"His..homely vein of illustration seemed
to favour the supposition that he was bantering."

6. (U.S.) To challenge, defy, to a race, match, etc.
* 1810 F. CUMING Sk. Tour Western Country 135
"Two hunters..bantered each other
to go out and kill a deer."
* 1834 CARRUTHERS Kentuckian in N.Y. I. 183,
"I was thinking of walking out into the
country and bantering somebody for a
* 1836 D. CROCKETT Exploits in Texas 83
"The black-leg set to work with his thimble
again, and bantered me to bet."
* 1848 in BARTLETT Dict. Amer. 1860 Knickerbocker Aug. LVI. 221
"The farmer again bantered him to buy his berries."
* 1872 E. EGGLESTON End of World xxvi. 177
"The cards were put face down, and the
company was bantered to bet the wine."
* 1902 HARBEN Abner Daniel 163
"Colonel Barclay has..bantered me for a trade time an' again."


1. 1. One who turns things into ridicule.
2. One who indulges in good-humoured jest or raillery.
* 1678 WOOD Life 6 Sept. (D.)
"The banterers of Oxford (a set of scholars so called,
some M.A.), who make it their employment to talk
at a venture, lye and prate what nonsense they please;
if they see a man talk seriously, they talk
floridly nonsense, and care not what he says."
* 1691 WOOD Ath. Oxon. I./834
"He being a reputed Banterer, I could never believe
* 1692 E. WALKER Epictetus' Mor. lxvii,
"Amongst rude Ignorants..To talk of Precepts, Maxims,
and of Rules, Is to be laugh'd at, thought a
* 1706 COLLIER Refl. Ridic. 130
"Profess'd Banterers chuse rather to
disoblige their best Friends, than to lose
the opportunity of speaking their Jest."
* 1847 H. GREVILLE Leaves fr. Diary 205
"Amusing, but too much of a banterer to
please me."

2. One who imposes on, or bamboozles.
* 1709 STEELE Tatler No. 12 P 1
"Gamesters, banterers, biters..are, in their
several species, the modern men of wit."
* 1712 ARBUTHNOT John Bull (1727) 58
"A sort of fellows, they call banterers and
bamboozlers, that play such tricks."
* 1849 MACAULAY Hist. Eng. I. iii. 369
"An excellent subject for the operations of
swindlers and banterers."

But banter is _too_ 'cute'. Surely dozener sounds ... better? What we need, as Kramer notes, is the pragmatics of 'insults' 'comme il faut'. Etc.


GRICE, Studies in the way of words.
ABRAHAMS R. Playing the dozens. Jrl of American Folklore 75
Talking Black. Rowley, MA: Newbury House Publishers.
KOCHMAN T. The boundary between play and nonplay in black verbal dueling.
Language in Society 12
LABOV William. Rules for Ritual Insults.
Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English
Vernacular, Chap. 8. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
MITCHELL-KERNAN C. Language behavior in a Black urban community.
Ph.D. dissertation. University of California at Berkeley.
Signifying and marking: Two Afro-American speech acts.
In J Gumperz & D Hymes, eds.,
Directions in sociolinguistics. New York: Blackwell.
MORGAN M. The Africanness of counterlanguage among Afro-Americans.
In S. Mufwene, ed., Africanisms in Afro-American language varieties:
Athens: University of Georgia.
In their 1998 book African American English
(Mufwene, Rickford, Bailey & Baugh, eds), Morgan
gives a very useful contextualization and theorization
of some related ways of speaking, "More than a
mood or an attitude: Discourse and verbal genres
in African-American culture". She discusses at
as well as the DOZENS, in terms of directness and intentionality.
SMITHERMAN G. "If I'm Lyin', I'm Flyin' ". Introduction to The Art of the


Linguist Misunderstands Grice

I don't know _which_ but some have!

I have read a lot of linguists discussing Grice. Some are fun. Some are not. Some complain that Grice is never clear,

"The basis for 'avoid unnecessary prolixity',
is not clear, whether it's given as
an empirical finding or a rationalalist
postulate coming from Grice's rationalist
head only"

-- or words to that effect.

I.e. linguists -- of the generative-semantic school, which are the only ones to be taken seriously when discussing Grice -- have their ways of arguing. They are _good_ ways of arguing.

(I have argued with linguists, but I usually get disappointed that they don't seem to realise the berths, as Grice would say, of the depths of the topics we are considering. Usually, for a linguist, any sentence is as good as any other. Whereas for a philosopher, it's usually some crucial crux that is crucifying him!).

On the other hand, philosophers who argue against Grice take different routes.

Consider L. J. Cohen. He took some awkward ones:

"In London, Cockneys use double negation. Surely
this refutes Grice on the identity of " - " and
"not". Not!

But then he gets more seriously. In general, philosophers who have argued against Grice are not interested into empirical issues, but methodological or theoretical decisions -- should we abide by Modified Occam's razor, or not? Etc.



That has to be 135c of 90, BANC.

Gricean: I want to consult Grice.
Librarian at Bancroft: What book, especially?
Gricean: No. No book. The 12 cartoons.

(Librarian gives Cartoons).

Gricean reads.
Gricean overnights.
Gricean learns.



The Grice Club And Elsewhere

Plus, while Tapper does find 'elsewhere' on the numerous side, it would be good, when you have the time, to provide online links that may illuminate things. Most of my elsewheres refere to this online sites, and I usually, as a historicist, use "as I said elsewhere" to make a historical point: this thing _has_ been signalled before. Etc.

"disimplicate" -- from "A Dictionary of Grice"

v. - introduced by Grice, elsewhere. To wit: lectures in the 1970s, cited by Chapman. She comments, "For some reason, Grice never pursued the idea", implicating that it was a stupid one, anyways (sic), but I disagree. The entries to this dictionary should be in one paragraph only, so sorry. To 'disimplicate' is not just 'not to implicate'. E.g. by saying 'no', Mary meant no. Nothing she can't disimplicate about it. Jenny is a different animal. "In twenty four languages she couldn't say 'no'" (The Saga of Jenny). Rather, to disimplicate has 'incorporated' negation. Grice was obsessed with 'entail', which Moore sort of coined -- as 'entailment' cfr. impliment, implicature. Basically, to disimplicate, for an utterer, on occasion, is to drop an entailment. If you say, "I know that 2 + 2 = 5" you are dropping the entailment that you only can know _true_ things. Thus, you are disimplicating. You are also being ridiculous, but that's neither here nor there. The notion of disimplicature, I trust, will be _the_ philosophical notion of the 21th century, as "implicature" was _the_ philosophical notion of the previous century. Etc. (J. L. S.)

"disimplicature" -- v. "disimplicate" -- from "A Dictionary of Grice"

As I say, it's good, I believe, to have entries for a forthcoming dictionary of Grice (alla "A dictionary of Borges" -- "The Grice dictionary" sounds too authoritative).

I also believe that 'implicature' and 'disimplicature', to annoy others, should be under 'implicate' and 'disimplicate'. So see you there!

-- this reminds me of an edition of Grove, Dictionary of Music and Musicians:

Pears, P. see under Benjamin Britten.

Grice's "Elsewheres"

Tapper is right that one shouldn't overuse "elsewhere". It has a nice deicting ring to it,

any place (or some place) other than THIS

"elsewhen" seems less apt. It's very few things that are done

any time (or some time) other than this.

Or rather, too many. I'm confused.

Anyway, I can, of course provide a link to each of my elsewheres. As someone said, elsewhere, "more than I need to know". Rude, I said. "No, an Americanism", he explained.

In any case, I'm also prone of saying (?) 'publicly elsewhere', where that is supposed to mean, 'in the public domain'. As opposed to things you may say to your lover -- an a dark room, etc.

Now, for Grice's elsewheres.

I am an obscure historicist, as we'd play with Tapper.

For me, it is important to locate things historically. This is because philosophy is for leisure. It's not a science like plastic surgery on which many lives (notably Joan Rivers's) depends.

Say, if one misquotes a chemical formula, in "The American Journal of Neuromedicine", you can KILL somebody.

But if S. Neale, and with a straight face, too, says that "in his ninth William James lecture, Grice" said that p, he may mislead, say T. Wharton. Is that legal?

Yes, because no life depends on whether Grice gave three, five, or nine William James Lectures.

These things import i.e. are important to the historical obscure historicist.

So I propose, roughly by rote, the following elsewheres:

1938. Negation. Mimeo by Grice on 'not'. E.g. "I'm not hearing a noise"
1941. Personal Identity. Mind
1948. Meaning. Oxford Philosophical Society. Thus dated in WoW
1956. In defense of a dogma. Co-authored with P.F. Strawson. Philosophical Review
1957. Metaphysics. Coauthored with Strawson and D.F. Pears, in Pears, The nature of metaphysics.
1961. The causal theory of perception. Symposium held in July in Cambridge. Aristotelian society. Co-symposiast: A. R. White.
1966. Some remarks about the senses, in Flew, Analytic Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell
1968. Utterer's meaning and intentions. Philosophical Review.
1969. Utterer's meaning, sentence meaning, and word meaning. Foundations of Language
1969. (b) Vacuous names, in Davidson/Hintikka, Words and objections, festschrift for Quine.
1971. Intention and Uncertainty. Proc. Brit. Ac. and OUP separatum
1975. Method in philosophical psychology: from the banal to the bizarre. American Philosophica Society. Presidential address for the Pacific Division.
1978. Further notes in logic and conversation. In P. Cole, Pragmatics
1981. Presupposition and conversational implicature, in P. Cole, Radical Pragmatics
1982. Meaning Revisited, in N. V. Smith, Mutual knowledge.
1985. Davidson on weakness of the will. Co-authored J. Baker, in Vermazen/Hintikka.
1986. Reply to Richards, in PGRICE
1988. Actions and events. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly

--- death of Grice


1988. Aristotle on the multiplicity of being. Published 'posthumously' by B. F. Loar, in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
1989. Studies in the Way of Words. Harvard.
1991. The conception of value, Clarendon.
2001. Aspects of reason, Clarendon


Other dated elsewheres of importance

1978. The John Locke lectures. Published as 2001.
1977. The Kant Lectures, published as 2001
1983. The Paul Carus lectures, published as 1991.


Other important elsewheres

-- Vancouver: Aristotle on izz and hazz. publ. as 1988.
-- Oxford: lectures as university lecturer.
-- Oxford: notes.
-- Brandeis lectures on trying
-- How pirots karulise elatically
-- Language and reality: Irvine Summer symposium.
-- lecture notes as prof. philo, Berkeley

etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.